Monday Mantra

gif-drum-beat

The human heart beats
approximately 4,000 times per hour
and each pulse, each throb, each palpitation
is a trophy engraved with the words
“you are still alive.”
You are still alive.
Act like it.

~ Rudy Francisco


Credits: Photograph/gif – youreyesblazeout. Poem Source – Conquer. Rudy Francisco – Bio.

Running. With Planks.

Planking-Baby

6:02 am. Sunday, October 19, 2014. 52° F. Breezy. Autumn.

Mind rolls back to yesterday afternoon. Saturday at 4pm, and my body was signaling late Sunday. The heaviness of Work returned early, a thick Bay Area Fog. (Where’s my weekend?) I’m on a JetBlue flight heading South on Sunday afternoon to catch Monday morning meetings.

I’m ten pounds up from my six-month low. Ten pounds! My last running post was Sept 7th. My last run outside was Sept 14th. Over one month ago, and THAT run is still fresh. I glance at my notes from that day:

Garmin flashing 0.72 miles. Stomach cramps. They will work themselves out. Just slow it down. Keep your feet moving. 0.78 miles. Legs moving, body is haunched over. 0.80 miles. Pain ripping through left calf. I moan, stop and clutch my leg. No Mas. I turn and return home. To the couch.

I decide to break my pre-run routine. (Which, besides complaining about running, is to do nothing, but get out the door.)

I get down on my knees. I’m thinking 1 Plank. I position my iPhone stopwatch where I can see it. I take a deep breath in preparation.  (My blogger friends are deep under my skin. Bone deep.  If Lori can do three two-minute planks in one work-out and Carolann can do a four-minute plank, this is just a matter of practice, right? And, last time I checked, I’m a Man, right?)

I get in planking position. I’ll knock one of these off before my run, and then have something to write about when I return. I’m glaring at the stopwatch. (I’ll show them.)

25 sec.
(Think I got this.)

35 sec.
(Breathing a bit heavy, but I’m just finding my groove.) [Read more...]

Saturday Morning

nose


Source: Peeblespair

5:00 P.M. Bell

gif-dance


Source: Youreyesblazeout

T.G.I.F.: Why did the chicken cross the road?

chicken-road-funny

It had been crossing so long it could not remember.
As it stopped in the middle to look back,
a car sped by, spinning it around.
Disoriented, the chicken realized
it could no longer tell which way it was going.
It stands there still.

— John McNamee, Kafka’s joke book


Source: Photograph: Robin Loznak. Joke: kafkaesque-world

 

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-penguin-gif


And don’t miss a full series of terrific penguin gifs here: observation deck

Throwback Thursday: Remember when…

minnow-hands


Source: jaimejustelaphoto

Morning Helicopter Ride Over San Francisco (200 sec)


Short video titled: “A Typical San Francisco Morning” which was shot with a hand held camera out of a helicopter during two morning flights this month. Incredible…


It only gets better from here…

middle-age

wsj.com – The Myth of the Midlife Crisis:

  • According to a growing body of research, midlife upheavals are more fiction than fact.
  • Life satisfaction reaches a low point around the mid-40s, perhaps due to stress associated with the simultaneous demands of work and family. But it rises after that.
  • Midlife, he adds, “is a surprisingly positive time of life.”

And yet, I can’t help but parrot Franz Kafka: “My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest –so what is it then?”

SMWI*: Let’s go for a run

cool-gif-koala-running-funny-weird


Koala goes for a morning run…Get those knees up!


Notes: SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan.

5:00 P.M. Bell: Going Home

black and white, photography,


Source: amjayes

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

snoopy-tgif-friday-raining-


Source: thatonemeaningfulthing

These feet are bangin’ the floor this morning

funny-morning-inspirational


Thank you Kurt @ culturaloffeirng

 

Hush

Charlie-Imagenes-

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?
Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends?
Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer
to a question you’ve been asked,
or the hush of a country road at night,
or the expectant pause of a room full of people
when someone is just about to speak, or,
most beautiful of all,
the moment after the door closes and
you’re alone in the whole house?
Each one is different, you know,
and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

~ Norton Juster


Notes:

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. It’s off to work we go

work


Source: afantasybasedonreality

Moved.

Licia-Ronzulli-child-work

She has been coming to work with her mother since she was just six weeks old. And now it seems three-year-old Vittoria Cerioli, daughter of Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli, is taking an ever more active interest in mummy’s work as she joined her in a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday. Stealing the show at this month’s session in eastern France, adorable Vittoria took part in proceedings as she lifted her arm up along with her mother to vote.

Don’t miss the full set of pictures here: Enchanting Little Girl Following In The Footsteps of her MEP Mother


Morning Bell: Let’s Roll

social media,technology,


Source: oamul.com

If I met the younger version of myself, we would…

liz-danzico

Liz Danzico is the creative director for NPR. Here’s how she opens her post:

I think a lot about what I would say to the younger version of myself if I met her again, if I met her through the still moments of all the motion of youth — when she was sitting at the piano, or if I saw her alone on the playground, or if I watched her read, voice quivering, her short stories in front of the class…

Don’t miss the rest of her post here: Stillness in Motion.


Credits:

Lightly child, lightly

butterfly-gif-color


Credits:

 

Saturday Morning

kitten-cat-cute-adorable-bliss


Source: awwww-cute

 

It’s Been A Long Day

dog-funny-bath-gif


Source: gifak

About right

internet, social media,offline


Story at Time Magazine: Never Offline. Image via coverjunkie.com

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day-funny-hat

Check me out! (The Fedorable Caleb)


Source: themetapicture.com. Hump Day Related Post: Hit it Again.

And if 2 isn’t enough, double down

hand-sand-earth

And here’s links to 3 more excerpts from Sam Harris’ new book that hit nerve endings:

  • Our needs and desires seem to multiply by the hour.” Connect here.
  • Our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they subside. And the search goes on.” Connect here.
  • Just keep your foot on the gas until you run out of road.” Connect here.

Photograph Source: YourEyesBlazeOut via Taffynikte

 

 

Monday Morning

W-s-van-dyke


Source: ...Just Saying (Another Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1939))

 

Why Books Matter

books,read,reading,distraction,

I finished this book last night. I don’t recall another book packing such a punch at the finish.

“I felt myself enter Fitzgerald’s language, felt its lilt, its music, carry me away.”

Right book.
Right place.
Right time.

I’ve included the closing five paragraphs below. If you want to avoid a spoiler, stop here and go pick up David Ulin’s book:

David L. Ulin. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time. (Sasquatch Books. 2010)

[Read more...]

Let’s hope so.

religion,doubt,

Doubt As a Sign of Faith by Julia Baird in NY Times:

When the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said recently that at times he questioned if God was really there, much of the reaction was predictably juvenile: Even God’s earthly emissary isn’t sure if the whole thing is made up! The International Business Times called it “the doubt of the century.”

…He told an audience at Bristol Cathedral that there were moments where he wondered, “Is there a God? Where is God?” Then, asked specifically if he harbored doubts, he responded, “It is a really good question. … The other day I was praying over something as I was running, and I ended up saying to God, ‘Look, this is all very well, but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there?’ Which is probably not what the archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

…But Archbishop Welby’s candor only makes him human. He may lead 80 million Anglicans worldwide, but he is also a man who knows anguish, rage, incomprehension and the cold bareness of grief. He lost his firstborn child, Johanna, a 7-month-old baby girl, in a car accident in 1983, a period he has described as “utter agony.” As a teenager he cared for an alcoholic father…

Faith cannot block out darkness, or doubt…Just as courage is persisting in the face of fear, so faith is persisting in the presence of doubt. Faith becomes then a commitment, a practice and a pact that is usually sustained by belief. But doubt is not just a roiling, or a vulnerability; it can also be a strength. Doubt acknowledges our own limitations and confirms — or challenges — fundamental beliefs, and is not a detractor of belief but a crucial part of it.

…The Southern writer Flannery O’Connor said there was “no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe,” but for her, these torments were “the process by which faith is deepened.”

My local pastor, Tim Giovanelli, a Baptist whose ocean-swimming prowess has lassoed scores of surfers and swimmers into his church, puts it simply: “For Welby, myself and many others, it is not that we have certainty but have seen the plausibility of faith and positive impact it can make. In a broken world, that can be enough.”

Don’t miss the full op-ed article here: Doubt As a Sign of Faith


Image: StepsOnMySunLitFloor. Related Post: The Believer of Convenience.

It’s moving day

diet,exercise,walk,run,walking,running,weight loss,inspiration,steps

This is what the Jawbone’s surveys show are the average steps per day for users of fitness step counters. (Saturday biggest day. Sunday, day of rest, apparently.)

Now here is my reality for the week of 9/8/14 based on steps counted by my Vivofit Fitness tracker:

[Read more...]

Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

hand stand


Source: Disclosable. Related Post: Stretch.

 

Saturday Morning

rest, chill,relax


Source: jaimejustelaphoto

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week!

hippopotamus


Source: themetapicture.com

3 a.m.

three


Source: Teaganwhite

 

If you can sing about it, that’s a kind of answer


Leonard Cohen turned 80 this week. His new album, “Popular Problems“, was released on Tuesday. He was interviewed by Mike Ayers for an article in wsj.com titled: Leonard Cohen’s ‘Bad Habit’. A few excerpts:

Q: The new record is called “Popular Problems.” Are these what we are all up against?

A: I thought it as a general description of what we’re all up against. Those are the questions: life, death, war, peace, space, God. All those matter, and rather facetiously, I describe them as “popular problems.”

Q: All of us think about that stuff daily and there are no real answers.

A: No.

Q: But you can sing about it?

A: If you can sing about it, that’s a kind of answer.

Q: What still draws you to making records these days?

A: You know, it’s a bad habit…Well, after a while you can’t break it. Employment is a very crucial matter for everyone. Unemployment is the most sinister disease of our society. To feel fully employed, it’s not something you want to relinquish or abandon. So that’s my work and I’m able to do it, God willing, I’ll be able to do it until I can’t do it any longer. I have no plans to abandon it. [Read more...]

Just like that…

woman,stare,wonder,ponder,

“What was, is;
What might have been, might be.
What’s kept. What’s lost. A snap decision.”

Adrienne Rich, from Later Poems Selected And New


Poem Source: Soaked In Soul. Photograph: “Enigma”; Kenny Sweeney

Over-The-Top

stress-worry-gif

[...] It may be that it’s not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it’s how you react to the smaller, everyday stress…The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years…People who always perceived their daily life to be over-the-top stressful were three times more likely to die over the period of study than people who rolled with the punches and didn’t find daily life very stressful

Some people get frantic sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, worried about being late or not being able to do what they hoped in a timely manner. Others simply take the time to sit back, listen to music and appreciate the break as some quiet time. Now, getting upset in traffic once is no big deal. But if things like that happen all the time and the response is always getting really upset, then the harmful effects of stress can become toxic….

…If you are one of those chronically upset worriers, Dr. Robert Waldinger, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, has a prescription for you…Read about his three magic pills here:

~ NPR – Patti Neighmond: Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You


Notes: Thank you Lori for the NPR article. This hit the mark.  Image Source: allpeoplecanfly

 

Stop. And…

beginning-purpose-meaning


Source: RudyOldeSchulte

Sunday Morning: Jonny + Xena. Moved.


There’s not much to say here except WATCH.

Thank you Julie.

Home from my walk, shoes off, at peace.

read,still,quiet,morning
The weight of my old dog, Hattie –
thirty five pounds of knocking bones, sighs, tremors and dreams –
just isn’t enough to hold a patch of sun in its place, at least for very long.
While she shakes in her sleep,
its slips from beneath her and inches away,
taking the morning with it –
the music from the radio,
the tea from my cup,
the drowsy yellow hours –
picking up dust and
dog hair as it goes.

~ Ted Kooser. December 14. Home from my walk, shoes off, at peace.

[Read more...]

At six in the morning, my circle of light

stars,night,sky,morning

Walking by flashlight
at six in the morning,
my circle of light on the gravel
swinging side by side,
coyote, racoon, field mouse, sparrow,
each watching from darkness
this man with the moon on a leash.

~ Ted Kooser. November 18. Cloudy, dark and windy.

[Read more...]

5:00 p.m. Bell: Fly Home!

Everyones-Object-work-for-a-Bird


Napoleon Dynamite Source – Chicagonow

T.G.I.F.: 1:55 min Dance to your Morning Commute


Smart, the company behind the original smart car, has devised a clever way to help pedestrians wait for the walk signal and keep the streets safer — a dancing traffic light. By projecting real movements from people nearby, the dancing traffic light entertains people at the intersection until it’s a safe time to cross the street. The company built the signal at an intersection in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this summer. (Source: Mashable)

Can you keep your feet still?


Source: Weighty Matters

 

Shifting their weight from side to side

bare-trees-dusk-morning

At first light,
The bare trees sway,
but not together.
Shifting their weight from side to side,
they are like a crowd
that has waited all night for a gate to open.

~ Ted Kooser. February 13. Breezy and pleasant.

[Read more...]

(Truth) The junkie’s temporary relief at the fleeting fix

lab-rat

For most of my adult life, I have read, like E. I. Lonoff in Roth’s The Ghost Writer, primarily at night: a hundred or so pages every evening once Rae and the kids have gone to bed. These days, after spending hours on the computer, I pick up a book and read a paragraph; then my mind wanders and I check my e-mail, drift onto the Internet, pace the house before returning to the page. Or I want to do these things but don’t, force myself to remain still, to follow what I’m reading until I give myself over to the flow. What I’m struggling with is the encroachment of the buzz, the sense that there is something out there that merits my attention, when in fact it’s mostly just a series of disconnected riffs, quick takes and fragments, that add up to the anxiety of the age. How did this happen? Perhaps it’s easier to pinpoint when. Certainly, it began after the fall of 2006, when I first got high-speed Internet, which I had previously resisted because I understood my tendency to lose myself in the instant gratifications of the information stream. [...] It all felt so immensely freighted that to look back now is to recall little more than the frantic blur of stimulation, the lab rat’s manipulated jolt at pressing the proper button, the junkie’s temporary relief at the fleeting fix.

~ David L. Ulin. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time.


Related David L. Ulin Post: We immerse, slow down. Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

Lightly child, lightly

Steve-goad


Credits:

  • Artist: Steve Goad – Descension
  • Other Lightly Child, Lightly posts: 1) Lightly child, lightly, 2) Lightly Child. Lightly, 3) Lightly Child, Lightly.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

 

Still as fence posts they wait

fenceposts

In fair weather,
the shy past keeps its distance.
Old loves, old regrets, old humiliations
look on from afar.
They stand back under the trees.
No one would think
to look for them there.

But in the fog they come closer.
You can feel them there
by the road as you slowly walk past.
Still as fence posts they wait,
dark and reproachful,
each stepping forward in turn.

~ Ted Kooser. February 16. An early morning fog.

[Read more...]

How do you make it lie down?

australian-lizard-blue-tongue

…I’ve never seen anything as strong or as stubborn,” he says.
And I think,
how do you tame a wild tongue,
train it to be quiet,
how do you bridle it and saddle it?
How do you make it lie down?

~ Gloria Anzaldua, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue“, From Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza


Credits: Photograph of Australian Blue Tongue Lizard: Tammy Puntti. Poem Source: The Chateau of My Heart

Big Day? Be Brave.

funny-office-work-leadership-1funny-office-work-leadership


Source: peacansandies

How was your day?

charlie-brown-sigh-long-day


Source: Stepsonmysunlitfloor

Don’t eye the basket of bread; just take it off the table

bread-basket-food

Pamela Druckerman interviews Walter Mischel, a professor of psychology at Columbia, in Learning How to Exert Self-Control:

…Self-control can be taught. Grown-ups can use it to tackle the burning issues of modern middle-class life: how to go to bed earlier, not check email obsessively, stop yelling at our children and spouses, and eat less bread. Poor kids need self-control skills if they’re going to catch up at school.

…Adults can use similar methods of distraction and distancing, he says. Don’t eye the basket of bread; just take it off the table. In moments of emotional distress, imagine that you’re viewing yourself from outside, or consider what someone else would do in your place. When a waiter offers chocolate mousse, imagine that a cockroach has just crawled across it. “If you change how you think about it, its impact on what you feel and do changes,” Mr. Mischel writes.

…He explains that there are two warring parts of the brain: a hot part demanding immediate gratification (the limbic system), and a cool, goal-oriented part (the prefrontal cortex). The secret of self-control, he says, is to train the prefrontal cortex to kick in first.

…Self-control alone doesn’t guarantee success. People also need a “burning goal” that gives them a reason to activate these skills

Read the rest of Druckerman’s column here: Learning How to Exert Self-Control

Find Mischel’s new book at Amazon here: The Marshmellow Test: Mastering Self-Control.


Image Source: Foodspotting

Hushed and heavy

winter-mountains-morning-sunrise

…soon will the winter be on us,
Snow-hushed
and heavy.

~ Sara Teasdale, from September Midnight

 


Credits: Photograph – The North Wind. Poem: Lit Verve. Sara Teasdale Bio: Poetry Foundation